This Valentine’s Day, AsiaOne speaks with two couples who found love in unexpected places.
They swiped right. Four years later, Christina and Ezekiel are married.
Such happy endings are becoming increasingly common in an age where love can happen with a tap on the mobile phone.
While many people may associate dating app Tinder with hookups or casual relationships, couples like Christina Tan, 28, and Ezekiel Koh, 30, have proven them wrong.
“Who knew I’d find my future husband on Tinder?” Christina mused in an interview with AsiaOne.
Their love story began in 2015.
When they first started using the dating app, she wanted to expand her social circle while he wanted to see what the hype was about. Neither had marriage in mind then.
The couple celebrating their first month together.Photo: Christina Tan
Among the numerous profiles on the platform, what caught their eye?
With his artsy profile picture and “Loves coffee, photography” description, Christina, a senior art director, thought that Ezekiel was a designer. “But he turned out to be an engineer,” she laughed.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel was drawn by her eyes and smile, saying, “it helped that she was quite cute with her short hairdo.”
After they were matched, she made the first move and sent him a message. His reply only came about a week later because he had uninstalled the dating app.
Had he not gotten back on Tinder, he would’ve missed out on his future wife. Phew.
The pair then took the conversation to Whatsapp and texted each other for about a month before he asked her out for brunch.
Their first date was especially memorable, the couple recalled.
When they met face-to-face, Christina got so nervous she smiled at him and… “sprinted to the nearest bathroom.”
But as the date went on and the conversation flowed, they were pleasantly surprised by how their real-life personalities matched their online personas.
And her suggestion of catching Thai comedy film Iron Ladies 3 together after their meal definitely left a deep impression, Ezekiel said.
Christina pointing to a drink stirrer which reads ‘He might be wrong’Photo: Christina Tan
A love for family, a sense of humour, and a love of good food were some of the traits they were looking for in a romantic partner. And they ticked each other’s boxes.
Over time, their relationship blossomed and Christina and Ezekiel became a couple.
So, how did their families and friends react to the news that they were dating someone they met online?
“They were sceptical at first,” Christina said, because her previous relationship with a guy she met online didn’t work out.
“But my family grew to love Eze because… There’s just nothing bad about him,” she chuckled.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel’s budding relationship at that time was the latest in a string of online dating “success stories” among his friends.
“My mum, however, had been telling me ‘You very heng (lucky) ah!” he said.
He’s very lucky indeed, for Christina was the first and only person he dated while trying out online dating.
Ezekiel knew she was ‘the one’ because “We have so much chemistry, especially in terms of the values that we believe in.”
“I can be so comfortable around her and not worry about how she would think of me.”
The newly-engaged couple in Florence, Italy.Photo: Christina Tan
So he got down on his knee and popped the question in a wisteria garden while the couple was holidaying in Italy last April.
Despite minor hiccups in his execution of the proposal, she said ‘yes’.
“You just kind of know that he’s the one when it happens. It’s hard to describe that feeling. Hugging him feels like home,” Christina added.
The pair got hitched in an intimate ceremony last November, starting a new chapter of their love story.
However, things were not always smooth-sailing in their quest for love online.
“I was ‘ghosted’ once, after going on three dates with this guy,” Christina recounted. “The next thing I knew, he got married. Well, good for him! We didn’t click well anyway.”
The couple also shared that they encountered some interesting characters on dating apps.
“You’ll see your friends on the same app sometimes, it’s fun to tease them,” she quipped.
Ezekiel said, “You will meet the occasional insurance or housing agent. They may come in handy in the future when you do need their services.”
And for those looking for romance online, he said, “There’s no harm in giving it a go!”, a sentiment echoed by his wife.
She’s got some words of advice for the ladies though: “Don’t feel pressured to meet a guy after chatting with him for a few days. If he’s really interested in you, he’d wait until you’re ready.”
So singletons, if you’re ready to take the chance, your happy ending may just be waiting at the other side of the screen. Read our guide to winning the online dating game.
This story was originally published on AsiaOne.